Queer Nation denounces conductor Valery Gergiev’s attempt to defend himself against charges that he is anti-LGBT in New York Times
Posted by Melanie Nathan, November 06, 2013.
NEW YORK— Valery Gergiev, the Russian conductor whose performances have drawn protests in New York and London this fall from gay-rights advocates opposing Russia’s new law placing restrictions on the discussion of homosexuality, issued a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday saying, “It is wrong to suggest that I have ever supported anti-gay legislation and in all my work I have upheld equal rights for all people.”
Mr. Gergiev, the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theater and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, had largely kept silent on the issue this fall, declining to give interviews on the subject even as he drew protests. At the time he conducted Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” at the Metropolitan Opera House and again when he conducted three Stravinsky ballets at Carnegie Hall, he remained silent.
However only after a very public and bold protest last week at at the London Symphony Orchestra concert, the Barbican, when an activist took over the stage, and with the publicity of yet another protest planned for Thursday, did Gergiev finally issue his statement. This also comes as some prominent music critics began to explore the question of his politics.
“I am aware of the gay rights protest that took place at the Barbican last week prior to my concert with the LSO,” Mr. Gergiev said in the statement. “I have said before that I do not discriminate against anyone, gay or otherwise, and never have done, and as head of the Mariinsky Theater this is our policy.”
While Mr. Gergiev said in the statement that he had never supported anti-gay legislation, he did not specifically take a position on the recent Russian law, which is supposedly aimed at “protecting” children by banning “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships.” (President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who signed the law in June, and whom Mr. Gergiev has vocally supported, has argued that the law “does not in any way infringe on the rights of sexual minorities.”)
Mr. Gergiev’s statement on Wednesday continued:
“I am an artist and have for over three decades worked with tens of thousands of people in dozens of countries from all walks of life and many of them are indeed my friends. I collaborate with and support all my colleagues in the endeavor for music and art. This is my focus as a conductor, musician, artist and as artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theater and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.”
Asked about the statement, Andrew Miller, a member of the group Queer Nation, which was involved in the protests against Mr. Gergiev at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, said: “The issue is not whether Valery Gergiev has gay friends or co-workers, but rather that he has been an ardent supporter of Vladimir Putin, for whom he campaigned. It is Putin’s anti-L.G.B.T. laws, which have essentially made being gay illegal in Russia and led to arrests of and horrific violence against gay Russians, that he must denounce if he wants to be a true friend of the LGBT community. Until then, he is merely Putin’s collaborator.”
And so the protests against Gergiev and other Russians who remain silent will ensue. Orchestrating silence is like orchestrating death!
If there is any doubt that silence = death read more here
South African Student Tortured by Putin’s Anti-Gay Thugs
By Melanie Nathan, November 05, 2013.
Name of South African victim given as David Smith | Russian Anti-gay Perptrators – Occupy Pedophilia ‘s Maxim Martsinkevich
We have been reporting for some time the attacks of young people, including students, who are lured through the internet, by anti-LGBT, neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalists groups in Russia. We have also been reporting that these groups have gained strength and increased their attacks on young gay (LGBT) people or those perceived as gay, especially since passage of the new anti-gay law, known as the anti-propaganda law.